Agenda and minutes

Economy, Environment & Place Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 5th February, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Lancaster Buildings, Newcastle, Staffs. View directions

Contact: Jayne Briscoe 2250 

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillor J Tagg who was represented by Councillor M Holland; and from Councillor A Rout. 




There were no declarations of interest.



To consider the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on


The minutes of the meeting held on 17th December 2019 were agreed as a correct record. 




The Committee considered a report from the Head of Environmental Services.  The report briefed Members on the air quality project requirements, progress to date and future works required for the creation of the Air Quality Local Plan.


The Borough Council, along with Stoke on Trent City Council, was part of thirty three ‘third wave authorities’ who were required to complete a feasibility study to identify actions that could be taken to bring forward compliances for exceedances for nitrogen dioxide pollutants in particular areas.  In Stoke and Newcastle the identified area was the A53 from Sandy Lane to where it crossed the A500 and travelled along Festival Park.  The feasibility study identified that bus retro fit was the only potentially cost effective measure that could have an impact to bring forward compliance but this could not be achieved by the compliance date of 2021. 


In October 2018 the Council was served with two ministerial directions to undertake works which were coordinated by the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU).  The directions and JAQU guidance required:


(i)            Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council and Stoke on Trent City Council to jointly further investigate EU exceedances of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on roads within the Borough and identify measures that could bring forward compliance within limits as soon as possible; or to review implementation of a chargeable Clean Air Zone (CAZ); and

(ii)          NULBC to implement a bus engine retrofit programme to busses that operate on the A53 to be implemented as soon as possible in order to bring forward compliance of nitrogen dioxide levels. 

A number of reports had been submitted to the Cabinet who believed a highways/transport solution could be found to reduce pollution levels rather than a chargeable CAZ which would be damaging to business and the town centre. 


The primary critical success factor was to achieve compliance with the NO2 limits in the shortest possible time; this timescale had been agreed with JAQU to be by 2022.  The investigation and proposals were required to be wider than the A53 and had to address other areas experiencing exceedances of the limits for NO2 along with any ‘displacement routes’ that may result from any measures introduced.  The scope of the study area included most of the urban area of the Borough along with the whole of Stoke City.  All options were to be measured against a benchmark of a CAZ which also had to be modelled by the local study and the categories of a CAZ were presented.


The work to date had included a Strategic Outline Case and initial evidence submission.  The present stage was Options Development/Appraisal.  In October 2019 an options development workshop had been held involving officers and members from the 3 Authorities and representatives of Highways England and JAQU. This had identified some initial traffic management options including:

·         Retrofitting the bus fleet

·         Banning turns

·         Banning traffic during peak periods

·         Creating one way systems

·         Low Emission Strategy – this had been agreed in the Strategic Outline  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.



Appendix 1A

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Commercial Development and Economic Growth on the Draft Joint Local Plan.  The Plan was being developed as a joint Plan with Stoke on Trent City Council (SOTCC). 


A formal consultation on “Preferred Options” had been completed and the next stage was to undertake a consultation on the Draft Local Plan (Part One – Strategy and Policies) during spring. 


Jemma March, Planning Policy Manager, made a presentation on the outcomes of the consultation and updated on the next steps in the Plan process:


·         There had been 824 representations received as part of the consultation resulting in 5,494 individual points; along with 7 petitions received in relation to specific sites.  The Preferred Options Consultation and Responses Document was attached as a supporting document to the Draft Joint Local Plan;

·         The current stage focused on policies only with the next stage being site specific;

·         The six key aims for the Join Local Plan were presented: 

• UK Central Hub for Innovation and Investment

• Healthy & Active Communities

• Dynamic & Diverse Neighbourhoods

• Utilising our Natural Assets and Resources

• Strong City Centre & Market Town with a Diverse Network of Towns and Villages

• Making our Historic Past Work for the Future

·         A key driver for the Plan was to focus on the economy with any housing provision being in support of economic growth;

·         Any policy prefixed by “S” indicated a strategic policy and this would assist any areas developing a Neighbourhood Plan as it would have to be in broad conformity with those strategic policies. 

·         The presentation highlighted the key policies under each heading – Strategic; Economy; Housing; Transport; Centres; Design and Heritage; Natural and Rural Environment; Environmental Resources and Infrastructure. 

·         The consultation process was outlined and would include online; deposit copies of the Plan at various places including libraries; as well as planned consultation events.


Members raised queries as follows:

·         What was the process leading up to formal adoption of the Plan?  The PPM advised that a consultation on the policies would commence shortly; consultation on Part 2 of the Plan would be held in Autumn 2020 and would be site specific; officers would review the consultation results and once approved by both Authorities the Plan would be submitted to the Secretary of State; an Inspector would be allocated and examination in public would be held; the Inspector would report back to both Councils around winter 2021. 

·         Members noted that housing allocations over the Plan period were minimum of 14,064 dwellings to be in Newcastle-under-Lyme of which at least 8,641 would be new site allocations and a minimum of 19,296 dwellings in Stoke-on-Trent of which at least 8,129 would be new site allocations.  Members asked how it was that both Authorities had a similar requirement for new dwellings when Newcastle had an overall lower requirement for total number of dwellings?  The PPM explained that the allocations were based from 2013 when all areas of housing commitments were reviewed including any housing that had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.




The Committee considered the Work Programme.  Following discussion with officers, the Member who had requested a report on Bradwell Crematorium was happy for the item to be kept under review but an update was not needed for the March meeting. 


The Chair updated the Committee on progress with the Walley’s Quarry Scrutiny Review.  A Task and Finish Group had been set up and a site visit date was being arranged; there would also be a training session for the Group.  A date for a half day meeting was still under discussion.


The Committee considered amending the date for the March meeting to enable the Air Quality Outline Business Case to be presented.




(a)  That the Work Programme be received and the item on Bradwell Crematorium be added to the items to keep under review; and

(b)  The next meeting of the Committee take place on Thursday 26 March at 7.00pm at a venue to be confirmed. 



Any member of the public wishing to submit a question must serve two clear days’ notice, in writing, of any such question to the Borough Council.


There were no members of the public present.



To consider any business which is urgent within the meaning of Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972.




There were no items of urgent business.